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Urban Communication Reader IV

Cities as Communicative Change Agents


Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler

Today, the world is facing climate change, wealth inequality, housing crises, food shortages, mass migration, and now a global health pandemic. Cities are at the heart of both these problems and their solutions. Urban communication scholars are well-poised to examine the change initiatives that are both caused and inspired by such complex problems. This volume provides a collection of urban communication research focused on how examining change through the lens of communication provides unique processual understandings of cities as dynamic sites formed through the interplay between concrete cases and conceptual ideas. The first section, Change through Institutional Intervention, addresses how diverse societal institutions—including policy, regulation, planning, and voluntary arts—interplay with changes in our urban communities. The second section, Change in Place and through Space, explores various ways in which spaces and places are able to transform through communicative practice, specifically focusing on how space and place provide unique frames for communicating change and influencing interaction in cities. The third section, Change through Participation and Engagement, collectively draws attention to the ways that public participation and engagement are utilized in cities in ways that enhance the communication both within and about them, focusing specifically on how this happens globally in teaching and learning environments, community planning partnerships, industrial site redevelopment projects, and approaches to food sovereignty in urban agricultural initiatives.
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11. City Living: The Significance of Critical Pedagogy for Urban Communication: ERIN DAINA MCCLELLAN, BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY, U.S. & CHRISTINA L. IVEY, BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY, U.S.


11. City Living: The Significance of Critical Pedagogy for Urban Communication



This chapter focuses on how to (re)consider teaching as a place and space for change. Specifically, we focus on the benefits of taking a critical approach to pedagogy in an urban communication classroom such that we call for (re)defining the traditional linear relationship between instructor and student; expanding the notion of classroom beyond a room with chairs and desks; and creating space for individual reflections to interact with one another as a way to invite change in the way we think, create, problem solve, and innovate. These reflections may also act as a juxtaposition to each other, generating room to discuss how multiple identities interact within the same physical space. We use a case study called the “Murmur Project” to demonstrate these possibilities in attempt to inspire others to take such approaches in their own classrooms as well.

Keywords: critical pedagogy, urban communication, Murmur Project, rhetoric & performance

Cities are known as enclaves of successful and educated populaces that live and work alongside some of the poorest and most underprivileged amongst us. This dynamic has been increasingly noticeable as the wage gap grows, the middle-class declines, and the “one percent” continually amass more of the world’s wealth. It is thus no surprise that the role of education in empowering the disadvantaged, inspiring future change agents, and facilitating...

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